Warm water currents moved in along the south coast and offshore
fishing really perked up this past week. Marlin finally started
biting both along the coast and off the east ends of both Catalina
and San Clemente islands, yellowtail and dorado were pretty
cooperative when the right floating kelp patty was located and
albacore finally staged a comeback for overnight boats, but
unfortunately it's still a lot of down days mixed in with wide-open
fishing for the longfins.
Along the beach the sand bass bite continues strong, there are
still lots of big barracuda filling gunny sacks on board sport boats
and the showing of bonito makes the outlook for the remainder of the
summer fishing season pretty promising. Balboa Angling Club member
Joe Lindelmann weighed in a 13-pound dorado he caught about five
miles off the 14 Mile Bank on board the yacht Free Bird.
There is some 72-degree water on the Avalon Bank and that's where
most of the marlin action took place this week. Other areas that also
produced hookups were the 181 spot, off Pyramid Head and the
deepwater trench off San Mateo. Chuck Holland of Balboa went marlin
fishing by himself in his 24-foot Boston Whaler Amorus and hooked
into a spikebill while trolling a lure off Clemente. The fish was
released in the best interest of conserving the billfish fishery off
the Southern California coast. According to J.D., at J.D.'s Big Game
Tackle located on Balboa Island, it looks like the marlin season is
in full swing with a big area of fish showing up. Cold water on the
outside has shoved warmer water close to the beach were there is
plenty of bait to allow marlin to settle down into a pretty steady
Other boats that recorded hooked fish over the weekend were:
Harbor area resident Paul Artesen fishing aboard the Blue Chip, who
took the day off from the falling Dow Jones and caught a striped
marlin about eight miles off San Mateo with Captain John Holmes at
the helm. The Poco Loco, skippered by Danny Jones, had a marlin jump
on a yellow and red EAL jig right on top the 279 Spot. This billfish
got tail-wrapped and died and it was a first fish for their friend,
Brett. The Wild Bill, a 40-foot Blackwatch, captained by Bill
Kingsmill of Dana Point, hooked a marlin on a Sevenstrand electronic
lure four miles inside the 279 Spot last Sunday morning and the lucky
angler who grabbed the rod was Dave Herrera of Dana Point.
On Aug. 7 the sportfisher Joker, a 36-foot Pacifica, missed a
couple of marlin on jigs fishing an area above Dana Point, four miles
southeast of the 279 Spot. Later in the morning captain Steve Behrens
of Costa Mesa spotted a leaping swordfish and cast a live mackerel to
the tailer but it wouldn't bite. A few minutes later a marlin came up
and the marlin turned on the bait but the fish didn't eat the
mackerel. On Sunday, below the same area, a blind jig strike off a
patty put a 20-pound dorado in the fish bag and then Behrens headed
farther down the line. Jack Rainwater of Costa Mesa hooked up solid
to a marlin that bit a purple EAL lure and this fish was released.
Most of the action took place in a small patch of water with sea
temps ranging from 72.4 to 73.6 degrees.
Most of the yellowtail being caught under the kelps are on the
small side, but there have been some 20-pound class fish landed at
San Clemente Island to go along with an excellent calico bass bite
and a few white seabass showing up in the daily dock counts for the
two sportfishing landings in the bay.
Pier fishing is fair for small game fish with an occasional legal
halibut being reeled in for anglers able to make live bait. Bay
fishing is good for spotted bay bass, sand bass and halibut near the
jetty, while inner channels in the bay are producing croaker, short
seabass and assorted rays and sharks.
Surf fishing remains good for yellowfin croaker, barred perch and
sharks. This writer tested the waters off Newport's 17th Street on
Sunday morning "catching and releasing" small yellowfin and sharks on
sand crabs while fishing just in front of a low tide. Other anglers
also were fishing in the surf from the Balboa Pier clear up to the
rock jetties and all reported good fishing and warm water conditions.
Schools of albacore popped up again for the San Diego fleet
earlier in the week and these fish should find their way into
overnight range for sport boats running out of Davey's Locker and
Newport Landing Sportfishing by this weekend. Water conditions are
ideal with lots of bait and by the end of the month anglers on both
private yachts and sportfishers could be looking to some very good
fishing for the exotics. Yellowfin tuna and dorado are currently
moving north along Baja and this early fall migration should follow
warm currents right through mid-channel waters.